In This Issue
|Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association|
|Volume Thirty-Seven, Number Eleven, November 2011|
|Click here for the print-format PDF version.|
|Click here for back issues.|
|Click here to return to main HHA site.|
Holiday Home Tour
Be sure to check out the 2011 Houston Heights Association Holiday Home Tour on Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3. Six fabulous homes, each with its own flair for style and holiday decorations, are featured in this year’s tour.
From the east side to the west side, this year’s homes present a fantastic range: a Queen Anne built over 100 years ago at a high elevation to prevent the kind of flooding that affected the owner in the Great Storm in Galveston, a spectacular teal-green 1920s bungalow that has been seriously “funkified” to every tour-goer’s delight, and an 1895 cottage with gorgeous furnishings and 1800s chandeliers.
You may not want to leave the welcoming Craftsman with a stone-decked backyard that invites you to stay and join the party. A 1915 Queen Anne Victorian had been ignored for years until the homeowners fell in love and felt the call to bring this home back to its original glory. And a 1927 bungalow that doesn’t look a day older than yesterday will give every tour-goer pause over which part is new and which is original. [See Holiday Home Tour page for photos and longer descriptions.]
Many of these vintage homes have been lovingly restored and renovated to preserve the historical value of the homes, while still adding modern elements of comfort to the needs of today’s homeowners.
Docents will be available in every home to point out special details and answer questions. Luxury Bus Shuttles to all of the homes, included in the price of your ticket, will be standing by at the Heights Fire Station at Yale & 12th Streets where parking is available.
Buy your tickets early and online for $20 each and at the Fire Station and at each home tour home during the tour for $25 each. You may pay by credit card anytime online or at the Heights Fire Station on the days of the tour. All other locations (including the home tour homes) will only accept cash or checks. Tickets purchased online may be picked up at the Heights Fire Station - Yale & 12th Streets - during the hours of the tour.
We know you’ll enjoy this year’s holiday tour homes, and we look forward to seeing you on December 2 and 3!
Holiday Tour Patron Party
Get An Early Peek At The Tour Homes
Ready your festive attire and buy your ticket to the event of the season: the Houston Heights Association Patron Party! The annual event, to be held Thursday, December 1, will feature signature dishes of the Heights area’s most well-loved restaurants, passed cocktails, and a lovely patron gift from chic 19th Street shop Jubilee.
From haute dining to barbecue, you can sample all the tastes of our fabulous neighborhood in one jovial evening. You haven’t had a chance to stop in at one of the brand new spots recently landed in the Heights? Be sure to get your ticket to try it out among neighbors and friends in one of the prettiest settings in Houston.
The magnificent historic home of Bill Baldwin and Joe Gonzalez is the venue for this year’s Patron Party. 205 Bayland was originally completed in 1910 by the architect and civic visionary William A. Wilson. After years of disrepair, the current homeowners returned the home to its former glory - and so much more! The basement was transformed into a wine cellar, and one hallway opens to a family room through a double-sided fireplace. In addition, you can visit with the newly roosted chickens in the backyard, providing eggs to the homeowners’ friends and neighbors. With large wraparound porches, a dramatic entry featuring chandeliers from the old Warwick Hotel, and walls and walls adorned with local art, this is a holiday festivity you simply cannot miss.
Glide through the party with a glass of wine, champagne, or beer, kick off the seasonal merriment with your Heights friends and neighbors, and support our great community through this remarkable fundraiser.
Your Patron Party ticket includes a preview of all six of the Holiday Home Tour homes from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM on Thursday evening, December 1, followed by the private party at 205 Bayland in Woodland Heights.
Tickets will be available online at by November 1.
Director Election Schedule
Eight of the fifteen positions on the HHA Board of Directors will be filled by election this month, completing a process that began with nominations at the September General Meeting. Five positions are opening due to normal expiration of terms; members elected to these five positions will have three-year terms. One position is for the remaining two years of a term ended by resignation. Two positions are for the remaining final year of terms ended by resignations.
The five nominees receiving the highest numbers of votes will fill the three-year terms; the nominee receiving the sixth highest vote count will fill the two-year vacancy; and the nominees receiving the seventh and eighth highest vote counts will fill the one-year vacancies.
The remaining schedule for the election of Directors to serve terms starting in 2012 will be as follows, in accordance with the By-Laws and Policies of the Association:
• By November 12 at the close of the post office, ballots returned by mail must be received with control numbers intact.
• November 14 before the General Meeting, polls will be open for secret balloting in person from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM sharp. The Election Committee will tabulate ballots and announce the results during the meeting. The results will also be published in the December newsletter.
Business Member Showcase
Mark your calendar. Come hear from over 25 local Houston Heights Association Business Members that will be on hand to showcase their services and wares. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the grand variety of local businesses and retail shops in our Heights neighborhood. Bring your wallet to pick up some great holiday items from our local Heights merchants, and preview what they are featuring in their Heights locations.
Doors of the Fire Station at 12th & Yale open for HHA Director balloting (see page 2) at 6:00 PM on Monday, November 14; Mix & Mingle starts at 6:30 PM; and the general meeting commences at 7:00 PM. Everyone is invited to attend!
Coming up in December, a toy drive and holiday celebration.
Worthington Plaza Dedication
Please attend the dedication ceremony for the Worthington Plaza on Saturday, November 5, 2011, at 10:00 AM in the esplanade on Heights Boulevard at 7th Street.
It was in the early morning hours of January 3, 2011, when a three-alarm fire tragically took the life of the homeowner, Evelyn “Patti” Worthington, and her caregiver and destroyed the three-year-old Victorian-style residence at 1135 Heights Boulevard.
To honor Ms. Worthington’s memory, her family is providing an endowment for construction of the Worthington Plaza, which is being constructed under the canopy of an established tree across from Donovan Park. Once constructed, the Houston Heights Association will maintain the new plaza along with the other designated areas on the esplanade.
Urban Forestry Day
Please join us for Urban Forestry Day 2011 on Saturday, November 12 from 8:00 AM to Noon at the 10th Street Gazebo on Heights Boulevard. HHA’s Urban Forestry Partners: City of Houston Parks Department & Urban Forestry Department.
Meet the experts: Heights Boulevard steward and HHA Chair Jim Bennett, Greenleaf Gardening Services, Houston Seed Swap, Jones Road Tree Service llc, Ravenscourt Landscaping, Third Coast Landscaping, OurBlok Green Ribbons Project, Terra Nova, …
Learn about mulching (what type to use, how to apply it to avoid smothering roots), dead wood (what it is, how to trim it, how to identify a live or dead tree), stressed trees (watering, fertilizing, and trimming them), and replacing trees (when to do it, size selection, care after planting, watering).
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2011 Platinum sponsor:
Fire Station Restoration Continues
The restoration of the brick veneer of the exterior of the Houston Heights City Hall and Fire Station has been completed. Some of the architectural features are now being restored or rehabilitated. The new door units for the apparatus bay openings are being fabricated and installed with an eye to both the historic appearance (1914) and the functionality of 2011. The new doors have the same number of panels as the originals, but with more glazing. The doors have a red mahogany finish just like the originals. The transoms also have the same red mahogany finish. The pedestrian doors located on the east and west ends of the front façade will be either refinished or replaced with red mahogany replicas of the originals.
The Houston Heights Association is looking for benefactors to sponsor some of the new features. One HHA family is sponsoring one of the new apparatus bay door units, and another family has committed to sponsor the new gas-lamp-style light fixtures on the front of the building. If you would like to participate in the sponsorship of one of the Fire Station’s rehab features, or if you have ideas for the restoration and rehabilitation process, contact President Bill Baldwin () or come to the next meeting of the committee planning the restoration at 5:30 before the November 21 Board Meeting.
Did you know that we rent out the Fire Station for events like wedding receptions, business meetings, and parties? For information and rental rates, click .
Chili Cook-Off to Benefit Fire Station Restoration
The Houston Heights Association’s project to restore the old Houston Heights City Hall & Fire Station will be the beneficiary of the 5th Annual Shady Tavern Ice House Chili Cook-Off. The event starts at noon at the Shady Tavern Ice House, 1206 W. 20th St. on Saturday, November 5.
The registration fee for chili cook-off teams is $100.00. Each team entry will receive 4 Cook-Off T-shirts, 10 drink tickets, and other goodies. This year’s event will have two winning teams. One winner will be for “Best Chili” and will be judged by a group of food critics. The other winner will be the “Fan’s Favorite” and will be judged by cook-off attendees.
The entry fee for the public is $10.00 and entitles you to taste as much chili as you like. You also receive a token that is used to vote for your favorite team. Additional tokens are available for purchase, so that you can cast more than one vote. For team registration forms, drop by the Shady Tavern Ice House or contact the owner, Dennis Whitworth, at 713-417-7447.
Education Committee Update
The HHA Education Committee hosted its annual Principals’ Welcome Back to School reception on Monday, September 26, at the Fire Station. With a wonderful turnout, the reception provided the perfect venue to socialize, discuss upcoming events, and exchange ideas among Heights-area principals and committee members.
The new “A is for the Arts” program is off and running! The purpose of “A is for the Arts” is to bring art, music, and other creative activities to students whose schools have limited or no fine arts programs due to budget shortfalls. It is hoped that the rich artistic community that thrives in the Heights will embrace this opportunity to share its many gifts and talents with students in after-school and weekend workshops and activities. Love, Helms, and Field Elementary schools are currently participating.
Holiday Story Contest
All Heights-area writers and storytellers ages Middle School to Adult! Here’s your opportunity to tell your favorite holiday story to children and win a nice cash prize for your effort! All you have to do is write a holiday-themed story and submit it for a chance to win cash and share your story at a special reading.
The story (which may be fiction or nonfiction) can be no longer than four double-spaced pages and must be submitted for judging by November 28. The first-prize winner will receive $75 from the HHA Education Committee and will read his/her story at a special event on December 10 (location TBA). Second- and third-place prizes will also be awarded.
Submit your entries to . Remember, the deadline is November 28, so start writing your story now!
Spread Some Cheer: Help With Holiday Food Baskets
The Heights Rotary and the Houston Heights Association annually underwrite, prepare, and distribute food baskets to local families in need. These families are chosen by area charities. You can help assemble and distribute the goodies on December 13 and 14. One hundred baskets (actually sets of six bags) will be assembled on the first floor of the Fire Station on the evening of Tuesday, December 13, starting at 5:00 PM. Volunteers will be sorting bulk groceries into the baskets for two or three hours; come by whenever you can. This is a great opportunity for the entire family to give back to the community.
Delivery starts after lunch (approximately 11:30-12:00 noon) on Wednesday, December 14. Come by the Fire Station to pick up a set of bags and the name and address of a family to receive them; if you have a large car or van, pick up several! Delivery should be completed that afternoon. If you are interested in lunch, BBQ plates are available for $10 (cash only) beginning at 11:00 AM. Typically, delivering 3 baskets takes an hour to an hour and a half.
This is a great way for the whole family to volunteer some time to a very worthy cause. Previous participants can assure you, the smiles (and sometimes joyous tears) on the recipients’ faces makes the true meaning of this holiday season truly apparent.
Please help us make the holidays brighter for local families in need. If you are interested in volunteering a couple of hours of time or would like to learn more about this project, contact Scott Lester at 281-894-3270 or email him at . Happy Holidays!
Have you seen the new Constable street signs? Nine new signs were installed at locations on Studewood, Main, 11th Street, Yale, and 20th Street. These signs alert people that our neighborhood is patrolled by the constables, both acting as a deterrent and spreading the word about the program.
2011 has been the best year yet for the Heights Constable program, with 860 subscribers, 26,626 miles patrolled, 106 arrests, and 545 tickets. We are kicking off the 2012 constable renewal and recruitment effort and need your help to get the word out. Can you hand out fliers to your neighbors? Please contact the and say that you would like to volunteer and tell us the blocks where you will be distributing fliers.
Subscribe early in order to be entered into the raffle. This year, everyone paying before December 1, 2011 for their 2012 subscription will be entered into a raffle to receive an entire 2012 constable subscription for free! If you win, you can get your money back, cover an additional property for free, or make a gift of a subscription to a neighbor.
Our thanks to the following donors for their generous support of the programs of HHA.
Repaving of Yale from I-10 to 610 has been postponed again, this time to December 17. It is expected to take 90 days.
Heights Xmas Hayrides
Once again there will be Christmas light-viewing hayrides during the holiday season. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there are only two nights that haven’t been booked. If you are interested, contact Paul Carr at 713-869-0505 or .
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Fall 2011 Bronze Sponsors:
GHSNC Transportation Plan Effort Begins
Time and again in the past, the Houston Heights Association and other civic organizations in Houston have been informed of major projects that will affect their area only after key decisions by government, by developers, and by funding agencies have already been made. This has often meant a late and reactive response to these issues. In many cases the civic associations have not previously considered what their aspirations are with regard to a specific issue. In some cases it has meant that they have had to start from scratch to develop relevant policies and garner the support of their constituents in order to have their desires taken into account. In recent times this has certainly applied to the location and functioning of transportation systems including local and commuter traffic, public transit, pedestrian and bike paths, thoroughfares, streets, alleys, and services infrastructure.
In order to address these concerns, the Greater Heights Super Neighborhood Council (GHSNC) has recently set up a Transportation Master Plan Task Force to initiate a planning process in which it is intended that all civic groups will participate to develop a multi-modal plan for the area. The GHSNC comprises 12 civic organizations including the Houston Heights Association, Clark Pines Civic Association, Heights West Homeowners Association, East Sunset Heights Association, Lower Heights Civic Club, Park Square Homeowners Association, Proctor Plaza Neighborhood Association, Sunset Heights Civic Club, Rotary Club of Houston Heights, Shady Acres Civic Club, Woodland Heights Civic Association, Montie Beach Civic Club, and Houston Heights Progressive Civic Club.
In October the task force commenced its activities by studying current information, identifying issues and concerns covering the full range of movement systems in the area, and discussing initial suggestions about how positive assets can be enhanced, existing problems solved, and future situations dealt with in a concerted and effective manner. It is the intention of the committee to bring these initial considerations to each civic association at the earliest possible time and encourage wide citizen participation. Eventually, after a series of meetings in which all interested parties in the super neighborhood would be encouraged to participate, and after consultation with neighboring SNCs, the committee would develop a draft and ultimately a final transportation plan for the area.
The intention is that this document would express the concerted views of a wide range of local citizen organizations. It would be designed to be presented to county and city development planning and implementing entities prior to decisions being made and used as the basis for discussion to assure that future transportation investment in the neighborhoods would be well received, effective, and beneficial.
Heights Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt Wrap-Up
The weather couldn’t have been better for the 6th Annual Heights Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt held on Sunday, October 2. 600 riders came out to enjoy the event - our largest participation ever in the history of the Rally!
Nearly 370 riders took their chance at the 20-mile scavenger hunt. Congratulations to Mark Lear for not only his high score on the scavenger hunt, but also being first to decipher the tie-breaker clue to take 1st Place. If you didn’t get a chance to see the answers to the scavenger hunt, they are posted on our website (click ).
Over 230 enjoyed all the events along the 5-mile route. Riders delighted in stops at Kraftsmen Café, Menchies, Write Now!, a Boulevard gazebo for music by Houston Heights Orchestra, and the Heights Branch of the Houston Public Library.
Thanks go out to Blue Line Bike Lab for underwriting our logo water bottles for the Rally and providing the location for our Check Point / Water Station, which was staffed and stocked entirely by David Weekley Homes. Gail Sabanosh of SmartID generously donated Smart ID™ Emergency ID Tags for the riders.
Houston Bicycle Company set up a tent at Marmion Park and spent the better part of the day checking bicycle tires and performing minor repairs.
The after party was humming with people enjoying the fabulous weather along with the music and delicious refreshments. Special thanks go out to Berryhill in the Heights, Pink’s Pizza, Carter & Cooley, Whole Foods, Air & Tent Party Rentals, and Saint Arnold Brewing Company for their contributions.
The ride would not have been possible without our Platinum Sponsor, Republic Services, and our Bronze Sponsors, Boulevard Realty and Design & Inspiration (and kudos to Angela DeWree who designed the wonderful logo for the posters, postcard and brochure). And we appreciate the additional underwriting by Chris Silkwood and Harrison, Bettis, Staff, McFarland & Weems, L.L.P.
We would also like to thank our generous contributors for their door prize donations and rider packet coupons: Barnes & Noble, Bike Barn, Bike Sport, Bungalow Fitness, Children’s Museum, Cyclone Cycles, Dacapo’s, Dharma Café, Eclectic Home, Glass Wall, Haak Vineyards, Hands in Harmony, Hickory Hollow, Houston Arboretum, Houston Dynamos, Joe & JoAnn Alanis, Landmark Theaters, Langford Market, Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Museum of Fine Arts, Niko Niko’s, REI, Shade, Snow Dog Ice Cream Truck, Sports Authority, Sun & Ski Sports, Texas Port Recycling, The Creek Group, Urban Bicycle Gallery, Urbanscapes LLC, West End Bicycles, Write Now!, Young at Art, and Ziggy’s Healthy Grill.
Last but not least I want to thank the Committee and all the volunteers who worked so hard to make this Rally happen. From stuffing rider packets, course set-up, day-of registrations, organizing the after party, finding the scavenger hunt clues, riding the routes, planning the 5-mile ride and activities through to clean up after a long day at Marmion Park - none of this could have happened without you. You are the reason the Heights is a special place to live!
[And a big “Thanks!” to Donna for making it all come together. -Editor]
Please welcome the following new HHA members.
Recycling of used electronics is now available at the Center Street Recycling Center (at Harvard) on the third Saturday of each month through a partnership between CompuCycle Inc. and the City of Houston. CompuCycle is also accepting end-of-life electronics at their 7700 Kempwood Drive facility 8:30-4:30 weekdays and 9:00-3:00 on Saturdays. Computers and computer equipment can also be taken to the City’s consumer recycling center, 5900 Westpark.
Community Improvement Nominations
Once again, it is time to look around the neighborhood and see who has been improving it. The nomination form and rule sheet for the 2011 Community Improvement Awards will be on the HHA web site soon. Nominees and winners will be announced at the annual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner on February 26.
Calendar of Events for November-December 2011
HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.
Visit for information about events and exhibits planned for the official 175th birthday of the City of Houston through November.
November 10-12 & 17-20, Opera in the Heights presents Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information, visit .
November 10, 6:30 - 8:00 PM, Omar Holguin will be signing copies of his new area history book Recollections: A History of the Woodland Heights and Surrounding Communities at The Lift on 19th. Repeats November 12, 4:00 - 7:00 PM at Kaboom Books on Houston Avenue.
November 11, 8:00 AM, Veteran’s Day observance at the World War II Memorial on Heights Blvd at 11th. Reagan High School ROTC and several band members will participate in lowering the flag to half mast and recognize Reagan alumni who served.
November 12, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, at Old Methodist Church, 600 Shepherd, Po’no Ragazzi International Academy invites prospective parents and community members to meet co-founders and teachers of the new independent middle school expected to open in 2012. For more information, visit
November 13, Heights Plant Farm is sponsoring a Community Planting Party to beautify participating businesses along Yale and in surrounding areas and kicking off a new Heights Heirloom Plant Club. For more information, visit www.heightsplantfarm.com or call 713-868-7990.
The monthly meetings of the HPD Positive Interaction Program (PIP) for Central Division have moved to the first Tuesday of the month starting November 1. The December meeting will be replaced by a holiday party at a date to be announced.
February 26, Awards Dinner
April 13-15, Spring Home Tour
June 2, Heights Fun Run
October 7, Bicycle Rally
November 30 and December 1, Holiday Home Tour
December 11-12, Holiday Basket Preparation and Delivery [tentative dates]
At The Fire Station
The second Monday, 5:00 to 7:00 PM, and the last Monday of the month, 8:00 AM to noon, the City Council District H Satellite Office is open at the east (office) door.
November 16, White Oak Bayou Association Annual Meeting. Social gathering starts at 6:00 PM; program at 7:00 PM.
Heavy Trash Notes
November is a “Tree Waste Only” month; December is a “Junk Waste” month. For dates in your area and more information, visit the City Solid Waste site .
Copyright and Submissions
The Heights is published monthly by the Houston Heights Association. Its purpose is to acknowledge achievements and to inform HHA members of events.
Copyright © 2011, the Houston Heights Association and/or the authors unless otherwise noted.
Newsletter inquiries, suggestions, or submissions should be directed to:
Editor, The Heights, P.O. Box 70735, Houston, TX 77270-0735;
email ; or leave a message on 713-861-4002.
Staff and Contributors
Editor: Mark R. Williamson
Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson
Bill Baldwin, Donna Bennett, Paul Carr, Angela DeWree, Lauriel Hindman, Albert Kleb, Scott Lester, Elizabeth Poirrier, Jonathan Smulian, Christine Spin, Dean Swanson, Lanna vonBaden, Maureen Weyel.